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IES Grant

Title: Determining the Efficacy of the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLMI) To Improve Secondary and Transition Outcomes for Students With Cognitive Disabilities
Center: NCSER Year: 2007
Principal Investigator: Wehmeyer, Michael Awardee: University of Kansas
Program: Transition Outcomes for Secondary Students with Disabilities      [Program Details]
Award Period: 7/1/2007 to 6/30/2009 Award Amount: $900,490
Goal: Development and Innovation Award Number: R324B070159
Description:

Purpose: There is now an emerging literature base in special education reporting that promoting self-determination is a valued and important outcome for students with disabilities, but that too many students with cognitive disabilities experience limited self-determination. The fact that many students with disabilities have low levels of self-determination is a problem because research shows that students with high levels of self-determination achieve more positive outcomes. The Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction was developed to promote self-determination and access to the general education curriculum and to support the unique needs of students with disabilities to achieve academic and transition-related goals, such as obtaining post-school employment. The purpose of this study is to conduct an initial evaluation of the potential efficacy of the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction for secondary students with cognitive disabilities.

Project Activities: Twenty-six high schools with at least 12 students with cognitive disabilities per school will be recruited to participate in the study. Schools will be randomly assigned to either a treatment or control group. The Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction will be administered to the treatment group in year 1 and to both the treatment and control groups in year 2. The model is designed to teach students to self-direct their own instruction in order to achieve educationally valued goals and enhance self-determination. It can also be implemented to teach academic or transition-related skills. Teachers are taught to link instruction on student-directed learning strategies to a self-regulated problem-solving process to teach students to set educational goals, determine an action plan to achieve goals, self-monitor and evaluate progress toward goals, and revise the goal or plan as needed. Three types of outcome measures will be assessed: self-determination, goal attainment, and access to the general curriculum.

Products: The product of this project is a fully developed intervention, the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction, which intends to improve academic and transition outcomes for secondary students with disabilities. Published reports of the initial evaluation of the intervention and presentations will also be disseminated to researchers and practitioners.

Structured Abstract

Purpose: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 requires that students with disabilities have access to the general education curriculum. Secondary students with cognitive disabilities, therefore, must have access to the same curriculum as that provided to all other students. In addition, the unique needs of these students must be addressed, including needs related to the successful transition from secondary education to adulthood. A successful transition from education into adulthood is essential for obtaining post-school employment.

The Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction was developed to promote self-determination and access to the general education curriculum and to support the unique needs of students with disabilities to achieve academic and transition-related goals, such as obtaining post-school employment. The purpose of this study is to conduct an initial evaluation of the potential efficacy of the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction for secondary students with cognitive disabilities.

Setting: Research will be conducted in high schools in Kansas and neighboring states.

Population: Participants will be 312 high school students with mental retardation or learning disabilities who meet selection criteria. Twenty-six high schools with at least 12 students per school will be recruited. The potential student users for the model would include students with cognitive disabilities (i.e., students with learning disabilities or students with mild mental retardation) who have not learned to strategically self-direct their learning. Selected participants must, however, be able to reliably complete the self-report measures of self-determination, which are included in the initial evaluation.

Intervention: The Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction is a model of teaching designed to enable educators to teach students self-direct instruction to achieve educationally valued goals and enhance self-determination. It can also be implemented to teach academic or transition-related skills. Teachers are trained to link instruction on student-directed learning strategies to a self-regulated problem-solving process to teach students to set educational goals, determine an action plan to achieve goals, self-monitor and evaluate progress toward goals, and revise the goal or plan as needed. Implementation of the model consists of a three-phase instructional process. Each instructional phase presents a problem to be solved by the student. The student solves this problem by posing and answering a series of four Student Questions per phase that students learn, modify to make their own, and apply to reach self-selected goals. Each question is linked to a set of Teacher Objectives. Each phase includes a list of Educational Supports that teachers use to enable students to self-direct their learning. In each phase, the student is the primary causal agent for choices, decisions, and actions, even when eventual actions are teacher-directed.

Research Design and Methods: The study will implement a cluster or group-randomized trial, modified equivalent control group time series design. Random assignment to either a treatment or control group will be at the level of high school campus. Year 1 of the study involves a pre-test/post-test control group design study and will provide data testing the impact of the model on multiple dependent variables. In year 2, the control group from year 1 will receive the intervention and the treatment group from year 1 will continue to receive the intervention.

Control Condition: Schools in the control group will continue with their standard practices.

Key Measures: Three types of outcome measures will be assessed: self-determination, goal attainment, and access to the general curriculum. Self-determination will be assessed using The Arc's Self-Determination Scale and the AIR Self-Determination Scale. Goal attainment will be measured using Goal Attainment Scaling on academic and transition-related goals. Access to the general curriculum will be measured using a PC-based classroom observation system.

Data Analytic Strategy: Intervention efficacy analyses will utilize three techniques: multilevel random coefficients modeling to examine differences between control and treatment participants as nested within teachers; multilevel structural equation modeling to make a longitudinal comparison of individual differences relations among the key variables; and latent growth curve estimates fit to key constructs to examine the concomitant patterns of change and growth among access, progress, and self-determination indicators.

Publications from this project:

Shogren, K. A., Wehmeyer, M. L., Palmer, S. B., Soukup, J. H., Little, T. D., Garner, N., & Lawrence, M. (2007). Examining individual and ecological predictors of the self-determination of students with disabilities. Exceptional Children, 73 (4), 488–509.

Lee, S. H., Wehmeyer, M. L., Palmer, S. B., Soukup, J. H., & Little, T. D. (2008). Self-determination and access to the general education curriculum. Journal of Special Education, 42 (2), 91–107. doi: 10.1177/0022466907312354.

Shogren, K. A., Wehmeyer, M. L., Palmer, S. B., Soukup, J. H., Little, T., Garner, N., & Lawrence, M. (2008). Understanding the construct of self-determination: Examining the relationship between the Arc's Self-Determination Scale and the American Institute for Research Self-Determination Scale. Assessment for Effective Instruction, 33 (2), 94–107. doi: 10.1177/1534508407311395.

Williams-Diehm, K., Wehmeyer, M. L., Palmer, S., Soukup, J. H., & Garner, N. (2008). Self-determination and student involvement in transition planning: A multivariate analysis. Journal on Developmental Disabilities, 14, 25–36.

Lee, S. H., Palmer, S., & Wehmeyer, M. L. (2009). Goal-setting and self-monitoring for students with disabilities: Practical tips and ideas for teachers. Intervention in School and Clinic, 44 (3), 139–145. doi: 10.1177/1053451208326053.

Agran, M., Wehmeyer, M., Cavin, M., & Palmer, S. (2010). Promoting active engagement in the general education classroom and access to the general education curriculum for students with cognitive disabilities. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 45 (2), 163–174.

Lee, S. H., Wehmeyer, M. L., Soukup, J. H., & Palmer, S. B. (2010). Impact of curriculum modifications on access to the general education curriculum for students with disabilities. Exceptional Children, 76 (2), 213–233.

Wehmeyer, M., & Agran, M. (2010). Promoting self-determined learning. In J. de la Fuente Arias & M. A. Eissa (Eds.), International handbook on applying self-regulated learning in different settings (pp. 205–224). Almeria, Spain: Education & Psychology I+D+i.

Shogren, K., Palmer, S., Wehmeyer, M. L., Williams-Diehm, K., & Little, T. (2012). Effect of intervention with the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction on access and goal attainment. Remedial and Special Education, 33 (5), 320–330. doi: 10.1177/0741932511410072

Wehmeyer, M. L., Shogren, K., Palmer, S., Williams-Diehm, K., Little, T., & Boulton, A. (2012). Impact of the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction on student self-determination: A randomized-trial placebo control group. Exceptional Children, 78 (2), 135–153.

Palmer, S. B., Wehmeyer, M. L., Shogren, K. A., William-Diehm, K., & Soukup, J. H. (2012). Evaluation of the Beyond High School Model on the self-determination of students with intellectual disability. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 35, 76–84. doi: 10.1177/0885728811432165

Shogren, K. A., Wehmeyer, M. L., Palmer, S. B., & Paek, Y. (2013). Exploring personal and school environment characteristics that predict self-determination. Exceptionality, 21, 147–157. doi: 10.1080/09362835.2013.802231.

Shogren, K. A., Plotner, A. J., Palmer, S. B., Wehmeyer, M. L., & Paek, Y. (2014). Impact of the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction on teacher perceptions of student capacity and opportunity for self-determination. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 49 (3), 440–448.

Seong, Y., Wehmeyer, M. L., Palmer, S. B., & Little, T. D. (in press). A multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis of self-determination between groups of adolescents with intellectual disability or learning disabilities. Assessment for Effective Intervention.

Shogren, K. A., Wehmeyer, M. L., Palmer, S. B., Forber-Pratt, A., Little, T. J., & Lopez, S. J. (in press). Causal agency theory: Reconceptualizing a functional model of self-determination. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities.


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